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First and Last(?) – Professor Doodles

Today saw the Doodles Sunday page go to rerun following the death of cartoonist Chris Foote. Doodles began on Sunday October 19, 1986 as a kid’s activity/gag page titled Professor Doodles – Just For Kids Corner created by Steve Sack and Craig MacIntosh. From a Daily Cartoonist article last year: In an early (1987) interview […]

Posted on: Sep 12, 2021,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: 2 Comments

First and Last – The Lone Ranger

  Westerns had always been a part of American popular culture, so when radio began turning over news and lecture time to dramatic storytelling around 1929 Westerns were among the programs offered. Most, like Death Valley Days and Bobby Benson, were original to radio, some, like Rin Tin Tin, were adapted from other media. When […]

Posted on: Sep 11, 2021,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: 0 Comments

First and Last – Freckles and His Friends

When the Freckles and His Friends daily strip ended in 1971 Newspaper Enterprise Association supplied the first strip from September 20, 1915 for newspapers breaking the news to their readers. Which I guess is technically true, that was the first strip titled “Freckles and His Friends.” Merrill Blosser had only a few years of cartooning […]

Posted on: Aug 16, 2021,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Freckles and His Friends

First and Last – Big George by VIP

Virgil Partch’s Big George panel began on May 23, 1960. It last ran 30 years and one week ago on June 8, 1991: hat tip to Charles Brubaker for the last Big George panel That last panel appeared nearly seven years after Vip’s death, Partch being one of very few cartoonists who worked so far […]

Posted on: Jun 15, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 2 Comments

First and Last – Mutt and Jeff, Part 1: Chronicles

In 1905 twenty-year-old Harry Conway (Bud) Fisher left Chicago for San Francisco where he got a job working for de Young’s Chronicle newspaper. It seems his theatrical portraits began appearing in the paper in November of 1905, with his sports cartooning splash coming on November 15, 1905. His caricature of Bob Fitzsimmons, an aging, freckled, […]

Posted on: Jun 2, 2021,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Mutt and Jeff, Part 1: Chronicles

First and Last – Archie (comic strip)

Archie Andrews first appeared 80 years ago in a couple comic books dated December 1941.   promo from Top Notch Comics #22 and first Archie page from Pep Comics #22 The feature was an instant hit and before the next year was over Archie had his own comic magazine. But it would take five years […]

Posted on: Mar 4, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

The Complete Superwoman – A First and Last Rarity

This will be an amalgamation of a few subsets we have here: a First and Last entry, a Rarities post, and a Complete collection. On June 27, 1943 The New York Tribune syndicate distributed the first episode of Superwoman by already famed cartoonist Rea Irvin. The Sunday-only strip appeared in at least two newspapers – […]

Posted on: Feb 24, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Legal, Comments: 2 Comments

Cheap Thrills Cuisine: Chef Peppi’s First and Last

It’s Wednesday, the day set aside for Chef Peppi’s Cheap Thrills Cuisine – but no more. The last recipe on GoComics was January 27, 2021 (above); the contract was not renewed. If you are reading this soon after being posted the last couple entries are still up at the GoComics newspapers’ feeds (see The Oregonian) […]

Posted on: Feb 10, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 4 Comments

First and Last – Smokey the Bear

Smokey Bear, the anthropomorphic symbol of the United States Forest Service, was created during World War Two. Not long after that conflict ended Smokey was appearing in one column panel cartoons as public service announcements illustrated by Harry Rossoll. These advisories would run at least into the 1970s. For a few years during that run […]

Posted on: Jan 10, 2021,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Smokey the Bear

First and Last – Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

Most comics historians, in writing about Jackie Ormes, note her Torchy Brown comic strip for which she is justly famous. But Ormes’ biographer Nancy Goldstein notes that  “it is Patty-Jo that the readers of the Courier whom I talked to seem to remember most vividly.” Goldstein continues: That a girl child expressed wisdom, exposed folly, […]

Posted on: Sep 1, 2020,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger

First and Last – The Fantastical Tales of Norb

When Berke Breathed’s Bloom County ended on August 6, 1989 King Features Syndicate had an unconventional comic strip to offer newspapers to replace the popular feature. Norb (I can find no example of “The Fantastical Tales of…” being used on anything but the promotional material) by Daniel Pinkwater and Tony Auth debuted on Monday August […]

Posted on: Jul 13, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment

First and Last – Homer, The Reluctant Soul

Wiley Miller’s Non Sequitur has introduced a number of characters to the comics reading public. The Pyle family and associates are regulars, but there is also Obviousman, Ordinary Basil, The Bears, The Gravesytes, Congress-Man, and others. We’re going to take a look at Homer, the Reluctant Soul. Homer first appeared in a Non Sequitur Sunday […]

Posted on: May 22, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Homer, The Reluctant Soul

First and Last – Rick O’Shay, Latigo

The western strip Rick O’Shay by Stan Lynde began in 1958. It first appeared on April 27, 1958 (below), taking over the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate spot occupied by Ferd Johnson’s Texas Slim Sunday strip which ended the week before; both being humorous cowboy strips. Ferd Johnson, who had been ghosting for Frank Willard’s […]

Posted on: May 3, 2020,  Section: Comic history, Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Rick O’Shay, Latigo

First and Last – Joe Palooka

palooka (n.) by 1926, “mediocre prizefighter,” of unknown origin, credited to U.S. sportswriter and “Variety” staffer Jack “Con” Conway (1898-1928), who might at least have popularized it. Non-boxing sense of “average person” is from Joe Palooka, hero of Ham Fisher’s boxing-themed comic strip, which debuted in 1930. No Ham Fisher didn’t coin the term with […]

Posted on: Apr 21, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: Comments Off on First and Last – Joe Palooka

Cats With Hands – A First and Last Installment

Wha..?? A last Cats With Hands? Yes. It seems Joe Martin has stopped producing new Cats With Hands strips and panels. (Joe continues creating Mr. Boffo and Willy ‘n Ethel comics.) Last month Neatly Chiseled Features started issuing “The Best of Cats With Hands” dailies beginning March 16, 2020. That strip was a rerun of […]

Posted on: Apr 16, 2020,  Section: Comic strips, Comments: 1 Comment